Rehabilitation & Other Therapies
Cancer Rehabilitation Program
Our current cancer program includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation
therapy, which have continued to increase the survival rate. However,
patients may experience physical changes following these common treatments
for cancer care. These physical complications may include scar tissue
formation, myofascial pain, decrease in mobility, lymphedema and fatigue.
The side effects of treatment may interfere with normal daily activities.
Rehab therapists at Aurora BayCare Medical Center are specially trained
to meet the needs of patients undergoing or have completed cancer treatment.
Our team strives to provide effective and compassionate care in
collaboration with your physicians.
The Rehab team consists of the following:
- Speech-Language Pathologist. A speech-language
pathologist can help with aspects of communication such as expression,
comprehension, voice and cognition. The speech-language pathologist also
assesses and treats impairments in chewing and swallowing.
- Occupational Therapist. An occupational therapist
can help you perform the activities of your daily life. This includes
tasks in the home, outside the home, and things done on the job.
- Physical Therapist. A physical therapist can
help with walking, balance, range of motion, and strength. They can also
treat problems with swelling such as lymphedema, scar tissue management,
postural problems, incontinence and painful intercourse.
- Massage Therapist. A specially trained massage
therapist uses the healing power touch to stimulate the body's natural
healing and defense mechanisms. This form of therapeutic touch uses a
gentle pressure and specialized techniques for those who have
compromised immune systems that are challenged by infection or cancer.
Your therapy is individualized and tailored to your specific needs, as
determined through a comprehensive evaluation. This initial visit would also
include education about your care and other services available. Additional
visits will be recommended to treat limitations in activity or range of
motion and to address pain and/or swelling.
Cancer rehabilitation may improve quality of life by:
- Reducing pain and scar tissue formation by massage, range of motion
and pain management techniques.
- Improving physical condition and performance levels through exercise
programs that help to build strength, endurance, and mobility.
- Providing assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as
eating, drinking, dressing, bathing, using the toilet, cooking, and
- Managing lymphedema (swelling of the leg or arm), which can occur
when lymph nodes are removed or damaged at your underarm or groin during
surgery or radiation.
- Providing a holistic approach of massage to encourage healing in all
dimensions: body, mind and spirit. Education provided in therapy will
enhance your progress by:
- Reducing interruptions in sleep with body positioning, relaxation
techniques and aromatherapy
- Maximizing physical strengths to compensate for limitations with
energy conservation techniques
- Reducing dependency on caretakers in the home and fostering
- Discussing lymphedema prevention and precaution strategies
Other services are available to meet your needs as you progress through
your cancer rehab. You can speak with your physician about a referral to any
of the following:
- Dietary. Nutritional counseling to improve dietary
- Smoking Cessation. Education and support provided
through the Quit Assist Hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- Behavioral Health. Patient and family education and
counseling on stress, anxiety, and depression management to improve
social, emotional, and mental functioning.
- Pain Management. Treatment options to address
ongoing pain that may result from surgery and/or radiation.